Thursday 21 September 2017

Time for the hairdryer? Chelsea suffer dramatic collapse as pressure piles on Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire.
(From left to right) The Chelsea defensive line of Radamel Falcao, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire
Chelseas John Terry during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 3, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Jed Leicester/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire.

Matt McGeehan

Chelsea capitulated and were booed off as Southampton won at Stamford Bridge for the first time in almost 14 years to leave Jose Mourinho contemplating a fourth loss from eight Premier League games this season.

Chelsea 1 Southampton 3

Captain John Terry was restored but Saints exposed the now familiar failings in the defence which just five months ago formed the foundation for winning the title.

Football - Chelsea v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 3/10/15
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Southampton assistant manager Erwin Koeman (R) as Ronald Koeman looks on Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs
Livepic
Football - Chelsea v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 3/10/15 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Southampton assistant manager Erwin Koeman (R) as Ronald Koeman looks on Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

Chelsea have conceded at least two goals in seven of their eight Premier League games this season - the exception the 2-0 defeat of Arsenal - and time and again Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic found holes in a 3-1 win.

Read more here: Ostriches not welcome at Chelsea, warns Jose Mourinho 

Willian scored a fourth free-kick goal in four games to open the scoring, but Chelsea afterwards scarcely tested Maarten Stekelenburg as they fell to a first home loss to Saints since January 2002.

A rare Steven Davis goal levelled matters and Mane put the visitors ahead after mistakes by Gary Cahill and John Terry, before Pelle got Southampton's third.

Chelsea??s John Terry during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London.
Jed Leicester/PA Wire.
Chelsea??s John Terry during the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire.
Football - Chelsea v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 3/10/15 Chelsea's John Terry looks dejected at the end of the match Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic
Southampton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg celebrates with Graziano Pelle at full-time of the Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Jed Leicester/PA Wire.

Southampton might have had a penalty before the equaliser when Mane was tripped by Ramires.

The forward was soon after booked for diving, while Radamel Falcao received a yellow card for the same offence as Chelsea desperately sought something in attack.

Read more here: Mourinho recalls Terry to end 'worst spell of my career' 

Loic Remy was sent on after Pelle's goal, Nemanja Matic making way just 28 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.

Football - Chelsea v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 3/10/15
Southampton's Cedric Soares (L) and Maya Yoshida celebrate at the end of the match
Reuters / Dylan Martinez
Livepic
Football - Chelsea v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 3/10/15 Southampton's Cedric Soares (L) and Maya Yoshida celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic

But this was not a performance for one scapegoat as Chelsea disintegrated against an excellent Southampton.

Mourinho insisted there were no prima donnas or ostriches at Chelsea and his players accepted criticism, but Terry - making his second start in six games, the other at Walsall - might as well have had his head in the sand when a Tadic corner was floated over towards Jose Fonte.

Had the ball been a foot lower, it would have been 1-0 to Southampton as Fonte had lost Terry six yards out.

Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand seemed keen to impress after being discarded by Mourinho, but both Southampton players were booked, the former for tripping Hazard's heels.

Read more here: Carneiro attacks FA for failing to ask for her 'abuse' evidence 

Willian curled the resulting free-kick into the far corner, but Saints - bar two tame Oscar shots - then went on the attack.

Ivanovic was unspotted in tugging back Virgil van Dijk before Davis sliced a good chance wide, and Ramires was fortunate not to concede a penalty for a trip on Mane.

The theatrical fall did not help Mane, who was moments later booked for diving after a tussle with Ivanovic outside of the box.

Fabregas was yellow-carded for diving in last December's fixture at St Mary's and Mourinho was furious there was no penalty award then.

Ronald Koeman had reason to feel aggrieved, but Saints continued to test Chelsea and Asmir Begovic had to be alert to claw away Victor Wanyama's cross and save from Bertrand.

Southampton equalised after Ramires was booked for a foul on Mane, and Fonte played the ball long to Pelle, with his back to goal.

Pelle held off Cahill, chested it and, one bounce later, Davis hit it sweetly to score.

Mourinho almost fell off his seat when Falcao was booked for diving and might have done so again when Cahill lost the ball and Terry failed to intercept Pelle's pass to Mane, who snuck in behind to slot in.

Mane ran at Chelsea and then played in Pelle for the third.

Chelsea tried in vain to find a response, but none was forthcoming in a second Premier League home loss in three games. Mourinho had lost one of his previous 99.

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